‘No criminal charges filed’: Russian Interior Ministry explains adding Tikhanovskaya to ‘wanted’ list under treaty with Minsk

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FILE PHOTO:  Svetlana Tikhanovskaya addresses her supporters during a rally in Minsk. © Sputnik / Viktor Tolochko
Ex-Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya placed on ‘wanted’ list in Russia, under Union State treaty with Minsk

The 38-year-old automatically appeared on that list after Minsk charged her with calls for a seizure of power.

The criminal case against her was launched after she initiated the creation of an opposition coordination council tasked with transferring presidential authority to her from the longtime Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko. If found guilty, Tikhanovskaya could face up to five years in prison.

Belarus has been gripped by massive protests since the presidential elections on August 9. The opposition refused to recognize the results of the vote, which was decisively won by Lukashenko, according to the official count. Thousands of people have been taking to the streets every weekend demanding Lukashenko’s resignation and new elections.

Tikhanovskaya herself fled to Lithuania days after the results were announced, fearing persecution. On Wednesday, the former presidential candidate said she was totally “unaware of being implicated in any criminal case in Belarus, not to mention Russia” adding that she should probably “check her mail.”

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